Well since I received such valuable feedback on both my posts I though it would only be fair that I responded to the comments and observations made by the readers. I tried to restrict myself to a comment but my response was rather long and thus I have put it up as a post.
First off, I do acknowledge that perhaps my comments were a bit harsh and I let my emotions get the best of me but when it comes to religion I do get swept away at times. However, care will be taken in the future.
Now then, let’s really get into it. Before I proceed to present my point of view I would appeal that while reading this you keep an open mind and do not get caught up with small details and try to look at the bigger picture. Though the criticism I got was well constructed and broadened my span of thinking as well, I feel some of it was aimed at issues totally besides the point I was trying to make.
In any case let me try and explain how I feel and why I said what I said. Fiza, Ibaad and Kamal repeatedly made the point about freedom of choice and how what they do as Muslims is none of my business. I completely agree. It is not any of my business and at no point in time was it a personal attack. But I do not think I implied that people attending club night have corrupt souls and cannot change… that is where Fiza is completely mistaken and I did not imply any such thing. Such a declaration would be against everything taught by Islam.
Perhaps we could set aside our Western ideals for just a bit. Freedom of choice is the concept I would like to tackle. Everyone is born with freedom of choice with respect to every aspect of their lives. But at the moment I am only taking into account the religious aspect as it is this aspect which shapes all other aspects of your life (or at least it should.)
Now then, so you are born with the freedom to choose whatever religious path you wish to and somewhere down the line you chose Islam I am assuming. Now that you have made your choice, you should stick by it. You have enforced your freedom of choice so now respect the choice that you have made. Islam is not a religion from which you can pick and choose from… “Ok, I like this bit about Islam but I don’t agree with this one so I am not going to follow it and that’s my choice so step off”
Once you identify yourself as a Muslim how can you promote actions and deeds prohibited by none other than God. You have no right to alter Islam and suggest that you can because that is between you and God. Ms. Saleem if you were to follow only the Quran-let’s not even talk about the Hadith and various Tafseers-then you would not even look a non-mahram male in the eye let alone dance with him at a club.
(I am referring to Surah Noor Chapter 24, Ayat 31:
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss..)
So which freedom of choice are you talking about? The freedom to distort Islam to suit your own desires? …Unfortunately that is the Islam that we are all practicing today. I am not claiming to be a perfect Muslim either but at least I can acknowledge my mistakes and that is a step in the right direction. Let me reinforce that no one and no Muslim has the freedom to pick and choose which parts of Islam he or she wishes to follow. I further quote straight from the Holy Quran, Surah Bakrah Chapter 2, Ayat 208 :
O ye who believe! Enter into Islam completely; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.
And yet we do not enter completely. We prefer to pick and choose what is easy for us and when someone tries to raise a voice we shut them up with claims of freedom of choice. But we should not forget is that one day it really will only be between us and God and at that point there will be no turning back and all regrets will be wasted.
Turning now to Mr. Kamal. An Islamic society is like a support system. Everybody helps each other to do good and to shun evil. When an individual does something evil and it does not affect society then that is his personal failure, but when society is affected by the evil then he is at fault and should be reprimanded. The Quran repeatedly refers to us as Muslim Brethren and thus it is only natural for Muslims to be concerned about each other as that is how it has been ordained by God. As Muslims we are ambassadors of what is right and should shun all that is not.
If an impressionable Muslim youth is exposed to other Muslims indulging in activities in Pakistan which are prohibited by Islam he would be more encouraged to do so too, than he would be by any other medium as these are his people and from his religion. Drinking and dancing is neither a part of our culture nor our religion. Therefore I am distressed and disappointed that fellow Muslims feel it is okay to do so in general but that’s not what my post was about. It was exactly about what you mentioned; Respect.
Just because you are not partaking in the Hajj this year does not mean that you do not respect the pilgrimage and endorse behavior which is not supported by your religion. These parties happen every year and yes I do feel they are wrong but I am more upset this year as I feel that the Hajj should have precedence over the New Year for these Muslims. They should respect the Hajj and not commit acts prohibited by Islam. That’s my point. By doing so they are disrespecting the Holy Pilgrimage and all that it stands for i.e. sacrifice.
I hope I have clarified my position and not offended anyone in the process.